Bubbles…Up! by author Jacqueline Davies and illustrator Sonia Sanchez

Reading Age: 4 – 8

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Publication Date: May 4, 2021

On a hot day, dive into a poetically written picture book about spending time at a pool. A young girl and other pool patrons frolic and show off their agility. Lots of movement throughout. Underwater illustrations are a must see. Despite the good times, issues arise. A thunderstorm occurs and all evacuate the water until the storm subsides. A toy is rescued. Diverse children have fun together.

Big Truck Little Island by Chris Van Dusen


Reading Age: 3 – 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Candlewick

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

One summer, a large truck is tugged to a small island. While driving on a curved narrow road, the rear tires veer off the path and the truck is stuck in mud. The vehicle blocks the passage of other vehicles going in either direction. Two families needing to go in one direction and two families needing to go in the other direction to important appointments devise a clever plan that gets the four families to their destinations. The truck is eventually aided. Later that evening, all including the truck end up in the same place. This is a rhyming picture book that has a satisfying ending. Illustrations have a retro look to them and show an assortment of characters.

Family Reunion by authors Chad and Dad Richardson and illustrator Ashleigh Corrin


Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

A boy doesn’t think he will enjoy his family reunion. He would rather stay home and play video games. He goes. He sees folks that look like him and hears stories of family members’ accomplishments. He plays games with cousins, eats good food, participates in a dance contest. The family goes to church the next day. To his surprise, he looks forward to the next family reunion. Illustrations depict positive interactions between relatives. My Book Eyes likes the warmth that exudes from this picture book.

When Lola Visits by author Michelle Sterling and illustrator Aaron Asis

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3 years

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Book

Publication Date: May 18, 2021

Readers and viewers experience life through the senses (mainly smell) of a girl from Philippine ancestry. Her summers are filled with scents of stone fruit, jasmine, fingerpaint and trouble until grandma (Lola) arrives from the Philippines. Lola adds scents to the air of mango jam, sampaguita, dried squid, milk candy, wooden beads, cassava cake, suman, sisig, kalamansi pie, lumpia, kamayan, stuffed milkfish to name many. The storyteller also adds scents that are more common to the masses such as chlorine at the pool, tennis balls, sunscreen, salty swimsuits, limes, garlic, fireworks, warm summer rain, cherry ice cream cones and freshly sharpened pencils. Illustrations are vivid on a white background. Happiness throughout the visit and sadness during the departure are seen but the girl adapts as the story transitions to a new school year. My Book Eyes enjoyed this picture book with the addition of another culture to enlighten about diverse and shared experiences.

Out Into the Big Wide Lake by author Paul Harbridge and illustrator Josee Bisaillon

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Tundra Books

Publication Date: May 18, 2021

From the start readers and listeners will notice that Kate is trying to remember the differences between alphabet letters. Shortly therafter we learn of Kate‘s mother’s reluctance to allow Kate to spend the summer alone with her grandparents. Kate has Down syndrome. Her grandmother convinces Kate’s mother to let her go. Kate’s grandfather delivers groceries by boat. Immediately Kate is introduced to her grandparent’s occupation as she accompanies the delivery trips. Her grandmother teaches Kate to steer the boat. When grandfather gets sick, Kate takes the reins and makes grandfather’s deliveries. My Book Eyes likes seeing the perception of Kate change to someone who can take on more responsibilities than society may have thought she could. Varied illustrations add information to this story . This is an Ezra Jack Keats Best New Writer Award winner for 2021.

Dork Diaries 14: Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever by Rachel Renee Russell

Reading Age: 9-13 years

Grade Level: 4-8

Publisher: Aladdin; Illustrated edition

Publication Date: October 22, 2019

It is summer and middle grader Nikki Maxwell and her friends plan to be the opening act for a popular music group called Bad Boyz as they tour cities around the country. The story infuses quizzes about the four members of Bad Boyz so that readers understand the personalities and traits of the members. Unfortunately Nikki’s rival, McKenzie, plans to inject herself into this experience any way that she can. Nikki’s histrionic personality is well depicted in text and illustrations which at times will have readers laughing and at other times have readers’ eyes zooming through pages to find out how cliffhangers end. As the story unfolds the audience learns that there is more to Nikki than her dramatic personality. My Book Eyes enjoyed the pedal boat escapade. This middle grade chapter book is a fun read that ends on a happy note.

Popsicle Cookbook Healthy and Easy Ice Pop Recipes for Kids and Adults by Kaitlyn Donnelly

Publication Date: May 5, 2019

With the warm weather upon us, it is nice to snack on something cooling. These popsicles are a tasty and chilly treat. This cookbook features helpful hints for making popsicles in its basic section. The author discusses popsicle molds, fruit, chocolate, berries, yogurt and vegetables in recipes. Popsicles for adult palates are added. Conversion tables are inside this cookbook.

Henry and Bea

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Henry and Bea by author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Publisher: Neal Porter Books

Publication Date: October 29, 2019

A sudden wedge between two friends is created when Henry’s cat, a pet that was like a family member, dies. Instead of turning to his close friend Bea for support, he isolates himself from her. He is depressed. Bea feels confused. Up until this event, she and Henry were close friends. A found cat collar is overwhelming for Henry. He can no longer keep his feelings inside and confides in Bea. He learns to trust his friendship with Bea at a time when he is vulnerable. Illustrations are great for showing contrast in Henry and Bea’s relationship before and after his cat’s death. A good picture book to generate conversations about friendship and loss.

 

Stanley’s Train

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Stanley’s Train by author / illustrator William Bee

Age Range: 3 – 7 years

Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company

Publication Date: August 1, 2019

In this picture book, Stanley and his buddy Charlie share train maintenance duties prior to picking up their friends. They take a day trip. Guess where they are going from the items they bring with them. My Book Eyes adored the turn taking element inserted in this story. Vivid colors allow distinct views of items in illustrations.